“I repeat, it’s very sad that this serious situation, this war between Russia and Ukraine, is affecting football and the sporting [world],” Tottenham coach Antonio Conte told a press conference.
“To know that Russia athletes are banned from competition is very sad. I think it’s not fair. I know very well the work that they do every day for this competition.
“You have to pay for this situation, I think it’s not right. Honestly, I hoped the situation is going to be solved because it’s creating a lot of damage. We’re in 2022 and to see this is horrible for everybody.”
After Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine, Russian athletes and teams have been banned from almost all international competitions, regardless of their political stance.
FIFA and UEFA held their fire but after several European countries refused to play any games against Russia in the nearest future, they had to ban them from the World Cup qualification too, as well as the Russian clubs from the European competitions.